Title: Boy Crucified
Author: Jerome Wilde
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press June 2013
Blurb: A Thomas Noel Mystery
When the body of a crucified boy is found by the river in Kansas City, Lieutenant Thomas Noel, a priest turned homicide detective, is assigned the case. In their search for the boy’s killer, Noel and his new partner, Daniel Qo, follow the clues to a secretive traditional Catholic group located in the Missouri countryside.
Then another body turns up, and the hunt intensifies. But Noel’s investigation hits too close to home and attracts the attention of the killer….
Review: Thomas has lived a hard life. He’s suffered and made his share of mistakes and wrong turns, but he seems to be a good detective and he’s able to draw on his past to help him solve his cases. I believe this is the beginning of a new series so a lot is left open and unexplained.
There’s a very genuine quality to Thomas that appealed to me. He’s complicated, brooding and a little emo. He had a very abusive childhood, that I think will be expounded upon as the series unfolds, and still has a painfully complicated relationship with his mentally ill mother. He still struggles with grief over the loss of his lover, Billy. He managed to be be both melodramatic and stoic at the same time. I liked him. I felt sorry for him and how unhappy he was. I felt that he wanted to be a good man and that he mostly succeeded. He had some deep thoughts and there were moments where he had me thinking a little about life and meaning and purpose.
Daniel is adorable and he knows it. He’s brand new and it shows. He’s got spunk and he’s sexy and sweet and has the biggest crush on Thomas. There’s a definite hero worship element going into the new partnership. He’s a lot younger and his seduction of Thomas begins immediately. I liked that he was confident while still being aware that he was the junior partner and he looked to Thomas. While he lacked in field experience he was very well educated and had Thomas’s back. Their partnership begins with a bang and I think he regretted his momentary hesitation and tried to make up for it.
My one real issue with the book was that the descriptives for sexual feelings and anatomy were, to me, awkward and unappealing. It was distracting and frequently took me right out of the story. Which is unfortunate because I really liked everything else.
The relationship that builds between the partners is good. The drawing out of information in the murder investigation is spaced in a way that makes it interesting and doesn’t ruin the mystery. The troubled relationship with his mother and his reasons for joining the priesthood are compelling. His conflict over religion and his place in the world drew me in and were at times insightful.
Here comes my warnings for our sensitive friends. There are very brutal murders that don’t occur on the pages, but are described in detail. There is physical and sexual abuse of minors described in past tense and referred to in the investigation. There are hints that Thomas himself has personal experience with molestation. There is violence that does occur on the page. This is a murder mystery being solved by two homicide detectives so it makes sense that things would at times get a little graphic, but it is not gratuitous.
I liked this book a lot, except for my above mentioned issue, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next book in the series. I’m looking forward to seeing the men, and their relationship, develop and to watching them solve more cases together. I have a feeling they’re going to compliment each other well and make an unstoppable team.
Reviewed by Nina
Posted on June 26, 2013, in Nina and tagged a haunting past, Abuse, Beans, Boarding School, Catholicism, Contemporary, Cops, Crazy Family, Crucifixion, Detectives, M/M, Mental Illness, Murder, Mystery, Nina, Older Man, Partners, Priests, Teenagers. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.